Northern Nigerian Breaking News

APC and the conduct of a credible consensus convention-Bala Ibrahim

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I didn’t understand it ab initio, when, while fielding questions from journalists at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way to London early this month, where he was asked that the APC hasn’t the capacity to conduct its national convention on the 26th of March, and PMB said, “The critics should wait and see. We are going to surprise them”.

I really didn’t understand it, until after the convention this morning.

Also, while he was in London on medical vacation, and Mai Mala Buni, the caretaker chairman of the APC was also on medical leave in Dubai, the Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai dropped a bombshell, saying it was the end of Mai Mala Buni’s reign as caretaker chairman of the party, because, he would not return to that position on the instruction of President Buhari.

Many, including yours truly were confused, until the penny dropped, through H.E. Hope Uzodinma, on Channels Television, where he said, no such directive was given by the President, and that Mai Mala would return as the caretaker Chairman.

Although PMB had sent a letter of caution to the chairman, Progressive Governors Forum, H.E. Atiku Bagudu, calling on members of the party to desist from any behaviour that will likely lead to disunity, and ultimately jeopardise the transition to the convention, I really didn’t understand it, until after the convention.

So in hindsight, with what was witnessed at the Eagle square from last night, under the ambiance of something like a carnival and conviviality, APC has given friendliness a new name, by reducing conflicts in contests, to consensus that could be achieved by consultations. And the credit MUST go to PMB.

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Long before his arrival at the venue, signs of disappointment to the detractors set forth, as the crowd went into a near hysteria, immediately the former National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomole appeared. With excitement, Oshiomole said, “Despite the effort of evildoers, the party’s convention is taking place today. I am happy, I am excited that the party will be restored to the leadership position that it ought to be”.

The journey to consensus began with the meeting of PMB and the APC Governors on the 1st of this month, just before he departed for Kenya, where he showed his preference for Senator Abdullahi Adamu, as the national chairman of the party.

And by the early hours of yesterday, Saturday, all the aspirants to the position have withdrawn their interests, and conveyed same to the party through a letter signed by one of them, Chief George Akume, the minister for special duties.

According to the Governor of Jigawa state, H.E. Badaru Abubakar, who is the chairman, Election Committee of the convention, through a voice affirmation, “The position of the National chairman, out of respect for President Muhammadu Buhari, has gone to the former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.”

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Also adopted through the consensus arrangement were Senator Abubakar Kyari from Borno state as deputy national chairman, north, and Chief Emma Eneukwu from Enugu state as deputy national chairman, south. Similarly, the former deputy governor of Osun state, Otunba Iyiola Omisore was adopted as consensus candidate for the position of national secretary. And the same happens with nearly 80% of the incoming members of the National working committee of the party.

This is a big toast to democracy, because, to cordially arrive at leadership by consensus, followed by affirmation, is certainly the aspiration and ambition of every party.

The consensus at the convention has shamed the critics, and proven to them that indeed PMB is a political enigma and one that is almost always unpredictable. PMB once said, “Everyone and no one has access to my thoughts”.

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I really didn’t understand it, until after the convention.

Particularly applaudable in the conduct of the consensus convention, and contrary to the claims that he is not happy with the performance of Mai Mala, PMB showered specific praises on him and members of his team.

“I want to congratulate us all for being part of this history-making event and to specially appreciate the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) which has been on a rescue mission under the leadership of His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe State Governor, for successfully piloting the affairs of the Party in the last 18 months and organizing this Convention to elect a new National Working Committee that will take over from the Caretaker Committee.

I am glad the Party under the Caretaker Committee has bounced back to life with the reconciliation of several key and critical stakeholders and groups who had hitherto left the party or were on the verge of leaving the Party. The reconciliation process gave the aggrieved stakeholders a true sense of belonging and assurance.

It is gratifying that the party recorded massive and unprecedented defections under the Caretaker Committee administration. APC received three sitting Governors, a Deputy Governor, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and State Assemblies, and other key officials from opposition parties who defected along with millions of their supporters”-PMB.

It was only when, in the countdown to the consensus, and Senator Abdullahi Adamu became the target of attacks and barrage of insults, that I understood what PMB meant by saying, “If I reveal my choice of successor, they will eliminate him”.

Sure, they would eliminate him. The only solution to the problem now, as the party prepares for primaries, in order to pick its flag bearer for the 2023 presidential election, is to copy the concept of credible consensus, as demonstrated in the just concluded convention.

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